Loud and Clear: Offshore Tax Fraud Remains High Priority for IRS

Jul 23, 2019, 11:53:00 AM

IRS messageDespite reduced budget resources and flagging morale, the Internal Revenue Service maintains a keen interest in tax crimes that involve opaque tax havens and money laundering.

 

It pays for high-wealth individuals and corporations to investigate tax strategies to protect and grow their assets.  Sometimes consumers and companies stray across the legal line into schemes and scams that could find them involved in an IRS criminal tax investigation.

 

There is nothing illegal about being smart with your wealth.  That said, there are tax tools that can be legal—or illegal—depending on how they are used.  Just some of vehicles subject to abuse according to the IRS include:

 

  • Offshore or private banking, captive insurance companies or private annuities
  • Foreign corporations, trusts, and offshore corporate structures like LLCS and partnerships
  • Bank accounts in secrecy jurisdictions, credit cards, and related schemes like loans kited between foreign accounts

 

The bottom line on these schemes is avoidance of tax obligations by hiding money and ownership of assets.  Loan and ownership scams allow owners to transfer titles to offshore interests, or make loans to entities they control with no expectation of being paid back.

 

On these tax frauds, IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig states, “Offshore evasion remains a primary focal point of overall IRS enforcement efforts. Our Criminal Investigation and civil enforcement teams work closely with the Justice Department in the international arena to ensure our nation’s tax laws are followed. Taxpayers considering hiding funds or assets offshore should think twice; the civil penalties and criminal sanctions can be severe.”

 

In recent years there has been a global uptick in regulatory concern for hidden income and reporting failure.

 

In the US, FATCA and FBAR reporting hold foreign financial institutions and taxpayers responsible for reporting accounts and assets that are subject to US taxes.  Keep in mind, the US ranks fairly high on the list for secrecy jurisdictions. Just because a tax scheme is made in America does not make it compliant to the IRS.

 

The take-away point here is that even in a diminished capacity, the IRS makes failure to file regulatory reports, concealment of assets, and offshore money laundering a prosecutorial priority.

 

That does not mean you are without the legal means to shore up your wealth using offshore tools.  Speak with an experienced and reputable tax lawyer to ensure your wealth—and you—are protected if the IRS calls.

 

Knowledgeable tax attorneys help you with offshore tax matters

With offices in Chicago and Cleveland, the tax attorneys at Robert J. Fedor, Esq., LLC help clients respond to IRS audits, and allegations of offshore tax improprieties or tax crime. When you need experienced legal advice locally or abroad, call 800-579-0997 or contact us.

 

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